Benefits of Hiking
Hiking is, by far, one of the most popular outdoor activities because you don’t need any special equipment (like rock climbing or mountain biking), just the clothes on your back and a good reliable water bottle. Its popularity is, in part, due to the fact that a lot of us live just a short drive away from a hiking trail or walking route. Oftentimes overlooked as a type of exercise, walking is a very important form of cardio for our bodies. Before cars or horses, our ancestors used to walk a lot – whether they were hunting and foraging for food or looking for shelter. It’s a form of travel that is very well ingrained in our genetic makeup. Hiking allows us to exercise while surrounded by nature, which is not only good for our physical health, but also for our mental well-being. We live incredibly busy lives, where it’s not unusual to sit at a desk all day and not unheard of to breathe unclean, polluted air. Hiking, while a very good form of exercise, is also very social in essence, allowing us to take in and enjoy the great outdoors in the company of family and friends. The fresh air clears up our lungs, while the amazing scenery nourishes our souls. When it comes to toddlers and young children, hiking teaches them how to respect nature, and instills in them a bond to the outdoors which they won’t relinquish easily. Embarking on a trail with small kids might seem a bit daunting to new parents. However, according to The Lake and Stars, your first hike with your child can go smoothly, as long as you do a bit of preparation.
How Do You Prepare?
Hiking in nature is not that different from going on a very long walk to the park. You will, of course, need plenty of food and water with you. You can turn it into more of an event by packing a blanket and having a picnic. Depending on where you’re going, it can get chilly, so make sure you and your family are bundled up. Above all (and I cannot stress this enough) make sure your child is wearing comfortable shoes that suit the trail and support their growing feet. A lot can go wrong when choosing hiking boots for kids. They have a lot less experience using their legs than you do, so even the slightest discomfort causes them a lot of pain. If the shoes do not offer enough support, it might make it difficult for them to keep up with your pace. Depending on the terrain, their boots need a stiff sole if the trail is rocky; but softer soles are more comfortable on grassy or muddy tracks. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, you might benefit immensely from buying shoes that are weather insulated. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your kid’s shoes (as they will outgrow them pretty quickly), but they need to be of good quality so they don’t hurt or damage their tiny feet. After all, the last thing you need is to carry your crying toddler halfway up the hill while they scream about how much their feet hurt.
Summer is coming, and this is no time for complying with a passive life at home. Just as children need dynamics, you do too. If you have a writer’s block and still want to plan in advance a list of activities to pursue in the summer, dive into my list of fun activities for inspiration.
How to get the most out of this summer
1. Water Balloon Fight
Splashing water balloons around is an awesome way of mitigating the scorching summer days. Besides, your kids might love the idea of finally getting to play with water after a bunch of promises throughout the colder seasons. Since filling up one balloon at a time can get pretty tedious, you should opt for a pack of self-sealing water balloons, which you can find both on Amazon and at Walmart.
2. Rustle up a reading nook
Nature plays a central role in relaxing our minds. Thus, you should take advantage of a personal yard and assemble a DIY nook for reading books and fun talks with your folks. Also, you could consider buying a walmart pop-up tent from Walmart and extend the storytime for the night. It would be a great chance to teach your children how entertaining camping is and play scouts while exploring the vegetation in your backyard.
3. Challenge your family to a Twister game on the grass
Improvisation is the key to genuine entertainment. Also, thinking outside the box can only bring up extra ideas to your bucket list, which could lead to even more crazy game ideas. Go to the nearest crafts shop and buy a bunch of paint that you’ll apply on the grass while trying to imitate the Twister carpet. Let the paint dry and challenge your children to a fanned game.
4. Organize a crafting workshop
Children urge to exercise and explore their creativity in all forms. While you could let them discover it by themselves, involving yourself and creating a fun environment to stimulate their imagination would surely be appreciated. Not having ideas? Just ask your children. They’ll instantly trump up a few cutting, gluing, and painting ideas. You merely have to provide the papers and scissors.
5. Create a puppet show
During childhood, inventing stories and profiles of our dolls and cars and creating contexts for them to exist is one of the most beloved activities. Your little ones will adore the idea of putting up a puppet show with their teddies and dolls, and they might even come up with a narrative. You could take turns at playing the audience and the actor and then vote for the best play.
6. Arrange a rope bridge tournament
If your children have a lot of energy, then more dynamic activities would play better. With some ropes and two or three trees, you could devise a rope bridge for riveting contests. Make sure that the trees are stable enough to support the weight of an adult, and the same goes for the ropes.
7. Initiate an outdoor movie night
Place a few blankets and pillows on the ground, supply yourself with a projector, and grace the day with a film for the family. The natural environment will add value to the experience and create a romantic scenery that no indoor cinema could ever provide.